Coronavirus disease 2019

Coronavirus disease 2019
(COVID-19)
Other namesCovid, (the) coronavirus
Fphar-11-00937-g001.jpg
Transmission and life-cycle of SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19.
Pronunciation
SpecialtyInfectious disease
SymptomsFever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell; sometimes no symptoms at all[2][3]
ComplicationsPneumonia, viral sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, kidney failure, cytokine release syndrome, respiratory failure, pulmonary fibrosis, pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, chronic COVID syndrome
Usual onset2–14 days (typically 5) from infection
Duration5 days to 10+ months known
CausesSevere acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
Diagnostic methodrRT-PCR testing, CT scan
PreventionFace coverings, quarantine, physical/social distancing, hand washing[4], vaccination[5]
TreatmentSymptomatic and supportive
Frequency116,600,908[6] confirmed cases
Deaths2,589,638[6]

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first case was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.[7] The disease has since spread worldwide, leading to an ongoing pandemic.[8]

Symptoms of COVID-19 are variable, but often include fever, cough, fatigue, breathing difficulties, and loss of smell and taste. Symptoms begin one to fourteen days after exposure to the virus. Of those people who develop noticeable symptoms, most (81%) develop mild to moderate symptoms (up to mild pneumonia), while 14% develop severe symptoms (dyspnea, hypoxia, or more than 50% lung involvement on imaging), and 5% suffer critical symptoms (respiratory failure, shock, or multiorgan dysfunction).[9] Older people are more likely to have severe symptoms. At least a third of the people who are infected with the virus remain asymptomatic and do not develop noticeable symptoms at any point in time, but they still can spread the disease.[10][11] Some people continue to experience a range of effects—known as long COVID—for months after recovery, and damage to organs has been observed.[12] Multi-year studies are underway to further investigate the long-term effects of the disease.[12]

The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads mainly when an infected person is in close contact[a] with another person.[16][17] Small droplets and aerosols containing the virus can spread from an infected person's nose and mouth as they breathe, cough, sneeze, sing, or speak. Other people are infected if the virus gets into their mouth, nose or eyes. The virus may also spread via contaminated surfaces, although this is not thought to be the main route of transmission.[17] The exact route of transmission is rarely proven conclusively,[18] but infection mainly happens when people are near each other for long enough. People who are infected can transmit the virus to another person up to two days before they themselves show symptoms, as can people who do not experience symptoms. People remain infectious for up to ten days after the onset of symptoms in moderate cases and up to 20 days in severe cases.[19] Several testing methods have been developed to diagnose the disease. The standard diagnostic method is by detection of the virus' nucleic acid by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR), transcription-mediated amplification (TMA), or by loop-mediated isothermal amplification from a nasopharyngeal swab.

Preventive measures include physical or social distancing, quarantining, ventilation of indoor spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, hand washing, and keeping unwashed hands away from the face. The use of face masks or coverings has been recommended in public settings to minimise the risk of transmissions. Several vaccines have been developed and several countries have initiated mass vaccination campaigns.

Although work is underway to develop drugs that inhibit the virus, the primary treatment is currently symptomatic. Management involves the treatment of symptoms, supportive care, isolation, and experimental measures.

  1. ^ "Covid-19". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. April 2020. Retrieved 15 April 2020. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  2. ^ "Symptoms of Coronavirus". U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 13 May 2020. Archived from the original on 17 June 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)". World Health Organization (WHO). 17 April 2020. Archived from the original on 14 May 2020. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  4. ^ Nussbaumer-Streit B, Mayr V, Dobrescu AI, Chapman A, Persad E, Klerings I, et al. (April 2020). "Quarantine alone or in combination with other public health measures to control COVID-19: a rapid review". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 4: CD013574. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD013574. PMC 7141753. PMID 32267544.
  5. ^ "COVID-19 vaccines". www.who.int. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  6. ^ a b "COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)". ArcGIS. Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  7. ^ Page, Jeremy; Hinshaw, Drew; McKay, Betsy (26 February 2021). "In Hunt for Covid-19 Origin, Patient Zero Points to Second Wuhan Market - The man with the first confirmed infection of the new coronavirus told the WHO team that his parents had shopped there". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  8. ^ Zimmer, Carl (26 February 2021). "The Secret Life of a Coronavirus - An oily, 100-nanometer-wide bubble of genes has killed more than two million people and reshaped the world. Scientists don't quite know what to make of it". Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)". U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 6 April 2020. Archived from the original on 2 March 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  10. ^ Oran, Daniel P.; Topol, Eric J. (22 January 2021). "The Proportion of SARS-CoV-2 Infections That Are Asymptomatic". Annals of Internal Medicine: M20-6976. doi:10.7326/M20-6976. ISSN 0003-4819. PMC 7839426. PMID 33481642.
  11. ^ "Transmission of COVID-19". European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  12. ^ a b CDC (11 February 2020). "COVID-19 and Your Health". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)". U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Quarantine for coronavirus (COVID-19)". Australian Government Department of Health. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  15. ^ "How COVID-19 Spreads". U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 18 September 2020. Archived from the original on 19 September 2020. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): How is it transmitted?". World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  17. ^ a b "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)". U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 11 February 2020. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  18. ^ "Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: implications for infection prevention precautions". World Health Organization (WHO).
  19. ^ Clinical Questions about COVID-19: Questions and Answers Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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